India: The local fare offers a wide variety of snack options, ranging from roasted banana wafers and soya chaklis (crispy savory spirals) to samosas (pastries filled with potatoes/peas). These “Namkeen” (snacks) are typically eaten as a side dish with meals or make great accompaniments to tea, coffee and other beverages. Of course, these snacks vary by region, with each having its own “special” recipe. The snack food industry in India is highly fragmented, with the market dominated by made at home snacks or savories sold by local vendors. Because of expanding nuclear families and an increase in the number in female professionals, India has witnessed a consumer [want] snack foods that are ready-to-eat snacks. Today, Indian consumers [want] snack foods that are portable, hygienic and a ready substitute for hot snacks.
Snacks like biscuits and potato wafers and Indian savories like lachha (fried potato sticks) were already available in the packaged format, but Frito lay India (subsidiary of PepsiCo) decided to find a niche in the market, by offering a product with a unique shape and taste. In 1999, the company (already in the market with its flagship brand Lay’s) launched Kurkure (“Crunchy” in Hindi) This idea was generated by the Frito lays team at Lateral Thinking Session conducted by Dr Sunil Gupta with one of the problem focus being a production problem of reducing broken and curly pieces which were machine rejects. Instead of getting the participants to try harder in solving the problem of machine rejects Dr Sunil Gupta asked them to redefine the problem and convert the problem to an opportunity. The R&D team later on their conceived the idea of deliberately creating curly and broken pieces that could be greater India snack food! And Kurkure was born!
A perfect case of change from vertical thinking to Lateral thinking!